Newark,NJ – Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara announced today that Newark Police Officers of the Muslim faith are welcome to add hijabs to their uniforms.
“The vision to make this happen is correct,” Mayor Baraka said. “I think it has incredible significance that it’s taking place during the period of Ramadan, a month of sacrifice and prayer. To be able to recognize people’s religion, how they practice it, and allow them to do that safely and appropriately at the work site, speaks volumes to where we’re going as a department and to where we’re going as a city.”
“This change to allow our Muslim female officers to wear a hijab in uniform is appropriate and timely,” Director O’Hara said. “We believe it sends the right message to our community. It sends the message that as an agency we value and respect having Muslim officers in our department.”
Currently, the Newark Police Division is comprised of 22 percent women—110 African-American women, 107 Hispanic women, and 18 White women.
“This change affords us the benefit of recruiting more Muslim women, who otherwise may have never considered policing as a career,” Director O’Hara added.
Under the revised uniform provision, the hijabs will be blue, consistent with the Newark Police authorized uniform shirt. And, for officer safety, the head covering is to be easily removable or “break-away” with the use of Velcro or magnetic fastenings that release easily. It will also fit under the Division-regulated headwear.